Sunday, March 30, 2014

In Defense of Short Games

Every so often I hear someone complaining about how short a video game is and I always break it down the same way. A movie is about $12 (pre-upgrades) for two hours of content. Why do we then have a different set of standards for video games? I love ending a game and wanting more. That's the best criticism anyway isn't it. "I didn't want this to end."

John Waters puts a 90 minute cap on all of his movies and I think that's a great way to ensure that the film your creating is boiled down to essential parts.

Some of my favorite modern short games:

  • Portal
  • Journey
  • Uncharted
  • Fez
  • Steamworld Dig

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Numbers 16:32 Is Done

Officially finished the short story last night and it's off to my reviewers. Like I said in an earlier post this is more in the novelette range, but should prove to be a swift read. 

Giving it about a week for the readers to get back and it should be available on e-readers. More on that soon.

I tried to find a video about farms to celebrate the face that the lead character is a farmer and ended up with this gameplay video of a farming game. Enjoy?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Patchwork Art: Group 2

Here's two more concept pieces for the Patchwork book. I think we have our bases covered here. I'm amazed how similar and different these first four turned out. Always looking for more styles to try even though I think I have a favorite. Can you guess which one?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Writing List

I'm getting faster at my writing now that I've found my groove on the train. Here's the backlog I'm working through in no particular order. Some of this I'll never get to, but it's fun to list out my options.

  • Patchwork 2 & 3
  • Royal Ladybugs
  • Knuckle Justice
  • That Other Robot Story
  • Generations of Quantum Theory
  • Cigarettes for Breakfast
  • Sangrimal 
  • Blood Patriots
  • Small Town Wolves

If you see me on the train, be sure to ask which one I'm working on at the time.

Patchwork Art: Group 1

I'm playing around with the concept of illustrating the first Patchwork book. While I'm waiting for my second round of proofing, I was encouraged to fish for artists interested in joining Team Patchwork. 

I gave five people the same character description from the book and told them to do whatever they liked. Here's the first two that got back to me. I'll post the other three soon. We all seem to have different favorites out of the first five.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PS Vita Recommendation: Steamworld Dig

Completed Steamworld Dig tonight for the PS Vita. I was holding off on getting it for 3DS once I saw how pretty it looked on the Vita and PS4. It was lot of fun and just the right amount of game for me (~5.5 hours). Definitely worth picking up on your platform of choice.

Steamworld Dig

Monday, March 24, 2014

Word Count

So I'm running into a first time writing insight. I started to write this short story as a short story and now I find out that I'm closer to a Novelette or Novella based on word count. My goal is to just write the story till it's done and deal with it later. I was planning on self-publishing just to get it out to anyone curious to read the thing.

I finally figured out the plot point I was having problems at in the midsection of the "novella" so I'm thinking another day or two and I'll have this thing done.

The setup

I used to spend my daily commute playing my 3DS or Vita. WIth 90 mins each day to kill I'd get pretty far in Guacamelee or Professor Layton or whatever game I was plowing through that week. I did the self assessment thing of determining how many hours I was dedicating to game play in a given month or year and was staggered. It was like keeping a food diary then adding up the calories only to explain the obvious "That's why I'm fat."

So last Fall I decided to attempt to use this 90 minutes writing on the train when I can. Having never written a book before, I didn't know where to start so just tried to commit the bedtime stories we make up for our kids to paper. Paper in this case is my 1st Gen iPad and bluetooth keyboard. It's a flexible set up that I've found good for getting ideas down. Editing is still a bear in Pages. I much prefer the precision of a mouse to the touchscreen.

So this is step one of an unknown number of steps toward a goal that is pretty fuzzy. As I continue to figure this out, I'll fill this blog in with the things that I learn as I write my books and short stories and who knows what else on my train rides. 

If you see me on the BNSF Metra typing away on my odd little set up, please say hi.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cover test

While I'm waiting on my awesome volunteer to proofread Patchwork. I've been playing with different concepts for the cover. I always wanted a minimalist pop look for the Patchwork series to match the punchy tone of the characters and story. Here's idea #1. More to come.

Patchwork Temp Cover 

Also it looks like the short story is actually going to be available before the kids novel. Will be interesting to offer a decidedly mature read a couple months before  Patchwork is made available. Draft one of the short story should be done by tomorrow and I'm planning on toying around with getting it self-published as a little test. After this is back to pick up work on Royal Ladybugs which is a completely different audience than these first two.